Saturday, September 06, 2008

What needs to be said about the RNC police state?

Once upon a time, I had a fling with academics, although I did not climb the same august peaks as Dr. B. My seven year postgraduate career did produce a Masters in Linguistics. My big paper was on political metaphor, particularly George Lakoff's Moral Politics.

I've been trying to wrap my brain about the story that I think needs telling based on my experience with the protest movement. I'm not talking a thematic analysis of the images the RNC wanted you to see. In other words, I'm on Zinn's mission of working on history from the other side. Let me know what resonates with you.

The values espoused by the protesters, particularly the pagan cluster (who are doing the most interesting semiotic work, I think) are abundance and common wealth, interconnectedness of everything, and fun. Rebellion and resistance to injustice are others on the anti-authoritarian left.

The values of the Republicans are out of Lakoff's book - strong hand, justice delivered, hierarchy of god above man above planet. A harsh response to disobedience is to be expected; violence is sadly necessary. They were asking for it, doing what they did. The glittery side is glitzy, the ugly side is very ugly.

I also came up with a list of thing I would want to include in any good story about the convention.
  • The Twin Cities became a police state for four days
  • There were numerous unprovoked attacks by officers
  • Sheriff Fletcher in trouble and possibly crooked and that motivated his behavior
  • The police criminalized radical dissent, particularly with regards to anarchists
  • The important role of journalists society was not respected
  • The RNC brought the methods of Iraq to Saint Paul
  • The police were comical in their use of force
  • Amnesty International says that human rights were likely violated
Let me know what should be on this short list, what stuck with you, and what should be off of it.

1 comment:

White Trash Academic said...

Hi nihilix. Maybe add something about the media? You have journalism rights on there but what I found really disturbing was the lack of MSM coverage, even though independent media reported heavily. Something along the lines of the media's role in a democracy (or lack of role).